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J Mol Biol. 2007 Aug 17;371(3):569-76. Epub 2007 Jun 2.

Dimer composition and promoter context contribute to functional cooperation between AP-1 and NFAT.

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Pasteur Institute, 25/28 rue du Docteur Roux, 75724 Paris, France.


The transcription factors activator protein 1 (AP-1) and nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) cooperate to induce the expression of cytokines during the immune response. While much is known about the signaling pathways and physical interactions between NFAT and AP-1 dimers following lymphocyte activation, few studies have addressed the role of AP-1 composition in modulating NFAT:AP-1-dependent transcription. We examined the function of specific AP-1 complexes using "tethered" AP-1 dimers with defined composition. We found that NFAT can functionally cooperate with all AP-1 dimers tested. Noteworthy, Jun approximately Jun-containing dimers, which are relatively inactive when tested on an AP-1-dependent promoter, are effective co-activators of an NFAT:AP-1-dependent promoter. Interestingly, specific AP-1 dimer combinations behave differently when tested on interleukin 2 (IL2) and interleukin 4 (IL4) gene regulatory regions. Moreover, the requirement for NFAT to activate each of the promoters is different. Our results suggest that higher NFAT levels are necessary to activate the IL4 promoter. Hence changes in AP-1 composition and the level of participating NFAT proteins can differentially influence cytokine gene expression, resulting in biological consequences for the modulation and dynamics of the immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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